Aix sponsa. 

The wood duck has saved many a hunts for Minnesota waterfowlers.  It's distinct sounds and colors have filled the early part of our duck season for years and it's table fair is second to none. When one takes the time to truly look closely at a fully plumaged drake, you cannot help but stare in awe at the seemingly never ending amount of color. 

Fortunately, wood duck numbers have greatly increased since since the early 20th century, so much so that USFWS has allowed Mississippi Flyway hunters to harvest three of them in 2008 and now again in 2009.  In 2008, Minnesota opted to go the conservative route and keep the limit to two.  In 2009, the MN DNR had a waterfowl survey on their website in order to receive input from hunters.  The survey was well done and advertised as, "Click the survey icon to let DNR waterfowl staff know what you, Minnesota's waterfowlers, are thinking." 

There was one problem though. 

We never saw the results. 

Dennis Simon,
DNR Wildlife Section chief had this to say about keeping the limit at two and the results of the survey, "That seemed to be the opinion of most of the 1,400 or so hunters who had taken a duck regulation survey on the DNR web site in recent weeks.  Right now, it is fairly overwhelmingly supporting staying at two (per day), or even going down to one wood duck in the bag."

I cry foul...or fowl. 

Many of you know I own the website,  We ran our own survey and have done so for the past two years and I will show you the results.  Our recent wood duck survey regarding the possible three duck limit had these results as of August 10th, 11:30am:
  • 69% of those polled are for a 3 wood duck limit
  • 26% of those polled want the limit to stay at 2
  • 4% of those polled said they can't hit wood ducks anyway so it doesn't matter
Feel free to check out our survey and the results yourself HERE.

So this fall, once again, as our flyway enjoys an expanded waterfowling opportunity, Minnesota hunters will just get to read about it and wonder what might have been.

But hey, thanks for the survey!

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Waterfowl Conservation: It can't be all about the habitat.